1 of 200 Salmon Guilloché Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Art Deco
In all its ninety years in widely varying production, it’s easy to overlook a great Reverso reference. This grail-to-me, the Art Deco, has largely faded into the background of watch collecting attention. Or perhaps, having pre-dated Instagram as a limited edition in production from 1992 to 2002, it was never there in the first place. As neo-vintage watchmaking has become very en vogue, so too have 90s JLC. And this 200-example salmon guilloché Reverso in white gold is up there with the very best.
You all know the Reverso story: polo players in the 1930s needed to protect their watch faces and so Lecoultre created a case with a swappable rotating mechanism to protect the fragile crystal. This tale is almost certainly apocryphal marketing, but it’s a nice story nonetheless. The model has grown and evolved through the decades into technical masterpieces like the Gyrotourbillon and Hybris Mechanica 185. Impressive as those are, there is no denying the allure of the original simple, time-only variant. Here, it’s been elevated to an art form.
The Art Deco Reverso utilized the slightly more masculine 26x42mm Grand Taille case, but focused extra attention on every detail. First, that case is white gold. Then there’s the rosette guilloché salmon dial with its écaille de poisson gulloché minute track, applied ‘JL’, and vertically brushed background. But perhaps most impressive is the movement, JLC’s first-ever fully skeletonised, engraved Reverso movement. The intricate textures and sweeping motifs are meant to recall the extravangance of that era’s architecture. And it succeeded. This is one of the most beautiful casebacks I’ve ever seen on a Reverso, as if the front weren’t enough.
This example is in good condition, the only mark that can be held against it is a scratch on the white gold caseback. Otherwise, it appears perfectly well-preserved. Particularly where it counts on the lugs. It comes with a box and no papers from a well-regarded reatiler.
Find this Reverso Art Deco here from Mr Watchley for 27750 EUR.